The Black Death
The Black Death, also called the “Bubonic Plague” was one of the worst natural disasters in history. In 1347, a plague came over Europe and killed many people. One third of Europ’s population died. The plague was carried by fleas, having a high potential to spread dangerous diseases to humans and other animals. It was said that the flea that carried the disease first was born in Africa and travelled by boat on the back of a rat to other countries of the world.
The Black Death first began in the desert of Gobi in the late 1320’s and went in Europe’s direction. The first country affected by the plague was Cyprus in 1347 and then went to Sicily and to all over Italy. In January of 1348, the plague spread to France and to England in September. Because the disease tended to follow trade routes, and to concentrate in cities, the cities of the south near the sea were first infected, and then later to northern Europe and finally to Russia.
In the beginning, the plague came from wild black rats. Fleas are blood sucking parasites; so when a flea drinks the infected rat blood, it is now infected itself. The bacteria in the flea’s gut multiply and when the flea bites a human or other animal in an open wound, it is now also infected. An infected person can be recognized by black bubbles or boils on the body, a high fever, and vomiting blood. The swellings continue to expand until they eventually burst, with death following soon after. Although the government had medical workers trying to prevent the plague, it still persisted. Most medical workers quit because they were afraid to get the plague themselves.
In conclusion, the Black Death was a very world changing disaster that affected many. It is known as the worst natural disaster of all time in the middle ages. Statistics say that 60% of Florence’s population died in one year. Venice also lost 60% of its population in one and a half year.
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